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Since September 26, I have been a volunteer with the Miller for Mayor campaign. Articles before that date represent my decision-making process and all articles on this site represent my views only. Join the campaign; we need your help.
Comments and More Details on Last Night's Poll
28/10/2003

Apparently the numbers I listed last night were the numbers for the 64% who will "definitely vote".

Global's poll is now being reported on in detail on the canada.com website. The numbers for decided voters are somewhat different.

Here are the numbers, then, for decided voters and then definite voters:

  • David Miller, 31%, 33%
  • Barbara Hall, 27%, 22%
  • John Tory, 25%, 29%
  • John Nunziata, 13%, 13%
  • Tom Jakobek, 2%, 2%

The way this is being covered in the media, attention is being focused on the definite voters. Perhaps this makes the most sense, but I think it may also be a good job of spinning the results by John Tory's team.

What I find interesting are some of the comments being made in the coverage of this poll that shows Hall continuing to slip and Miller and Tory firming themselves up as the top contenders.

COMPAS President Conrad Winn was quoted in the Toronto Star as saying "Who could have guessed, Miller and Tory, who were then for months and months in single digits, would be the ones approaching a photo finish?"

I think the answer, actually, is that there are many people who are not surprised. Watching the race through the early fall I realized how strong Tory and Miller were compared to Hall, and began to suspect that she would tail off once the media and voters were paying attention. For the past few weeks I haven't been thinking about Barbara Hall much at all, and from the looks of it, neither has John Tory's team.

Conrad Winn isn't alone in making this mistake. At the Star, both Royson James and Ian Urquhart wrote this election off in the early fall months. I think the problem is that no-one has really seen a race like this in Canada before: A year-long struggle for position before a month-and-a-half-long sprint to the finish.

Conrad Winn also makes an unusual comment in the canada.com coverage.

Dr. Winn said it is unclear why so many respondents were against voting for Ms. Hall. He suggested it could be the result of Mr. Jakobek's unsuccessful complaint to the police that Ms. Hall illegally raised campaign funds before she registered her nomination papers.

I really don't think so. I think it is because all of her statements have been weak and uninspiring and because both Tory and Miller have done a good job of coming out and clearly defining themselves, their character and their thinking for the city.

Interestingly, Conrad Winn and his research point to these other observations:

  • Both Miller and Tory are standing strong because of their personality and character, and both are appealing to the "centre" of the political spectrum
  • Miller is not at all a single-issue candidate. He (as well as Tory) is drawing support for his leadership and what he is expected to do on the most important issues. The airport is low on the list of "most important" issues, although I imagine that for many voters it is a litmus test for how a candidate will respond to other issues
  • Surprisingly (to me) Barbara Hall's support is strong amongst the left-wing of the voting population. In my view, this is promising for David Miller, since he should be able to attract more of these voters to move to him.

When asked about "the most important issue" in the campaign, the response went along these lines, based on how I interpret the canada.com article:

  • Education, 16%
  • The economy, 14%
  • Taxes, 5%
  • Public transit, 4%
  • Island airport, 3%
  • Garbage, 3%
  • Traffic problem, 2%

Voters were also asked what they think about John Nunziata's bribe allegations. From the Star:

  • 29% think they are untrue
  • 28% think they are true and support their investigation by the police
  • 14% think they are true but just politics
  • 29% don't know what to think

The poll was taken Thursday-Saturday. Saturday was when the Nunziata camp specifically named the Tory team in the Toronto Star.

I really think that someone should write a book about this election when it is over. It has had a lot of drama. It has also had interesting dynamics that are relevant to people interested in political science. It has been unique in many ways.

DISCLOSURE: After a serious decision-making process, I joined the Miller-for-mayor campaign a few weeks ago. However, all comments on this website are my own, and do not necessarily represent the views of David Miller or his campaign. My role in the campaign is grunt-level and I haven't even met the strategists.


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